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The AK-47 is an early Cold War era assault rifle of Russian origin. It was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov at the end of World War 2 to equip Soviet forces with a weapon of similar capabilities as the German Stgw 44. The AK-47 proved to be so effective and reliable that it was produced in large numbers. AK-47 stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947, Russian for Kalashnikov automatic rifle of 1947.
The AK-47 is a gas operated weapon with a similar layout as the Stgw 44. It cycles using a long stroke gas piston. Combined with high tolerances and a tapering cartridge this makes it very reliable. The 7.62x39mm round was designed for this weapon. The AK-47 is made out of metal with the handguard and fixed stock made out of wood. The original AK-47 has a milled receiver while the product improved AKM has a stamped receiver.
The AK-47 fires the 7.62x39mm round from a curved 30 round magazine. The 40 round magazines of the RPK can also be used. The AK-47 is a select fire weapon that is capable of semi-automatic fire and automatic fire at 600 rounds per minute. The effective range is about 300 meters. The RPK light machine gun has a longer barrel, resulting in a higher muzzle velocity and longer effective range.
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